How can we reach these kids? Slang!

I know everyone wants to know how we can reach these kids. And we do it by bastardizing the language of classics to make them more approachable. But don't worry, it's not slang that's the problem, it's that modern slang is lame, and ye olde slang is hip:
[T]here is a difference between idiom and modern slang in literature. Shakespeare's use of slang opened up the world of the theatre to all of the audience, displaying the mental agonies of the Prince of Denmark to the most boisterous groundling and bringing the horseplay of Dogberry and co to the attention of the most cerebral courtier. Modern slang is different, being cut through with dark knowing humour and packing a linguistic punch, as the Guardian's recent compilation of 1950s slang bears witness.
When Shakespeare used slang he was opening up language to the masses, but when you do it you're insulting art. I tried to come up with some good slang for comic effect, but it didn't really take. Feel free to contribute your own slang take on classics in the comments.


  1. Thanks for the bastardization link. I agree, It's unseemly to be cowtowing to kids. Who are they going to look up to?

    I try not to preach to children, but I think we need to guide them. Give them some semblance of standards. I admit my standards are my own, and don't always jibe with the latest family-values crappity-crap, I mean, jargon. Nevertheless...

    As for the slang, I need to think on that. Shakespeare was weird. OK Hardy, I'm in. OK, he was weird too, but more in keeping with my weird sensibilities

  2. Not to mention that slang changes so quickly and is also very regionally based. So even though they're saying "wicked" in Maine, kids in MN aren't. I think it's always best to avoid slang when writing fiction, imhop